All-injury recap for the Chargers, position-by-position – Los Angeles Chargers Blog

COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers have spent the offseason strengthening their roster with the goal of making a deep playoff, if not Super Bowl.

But thanks to a 1-2 start, which included back-to-back divisional games against the Las Vegas Raiders (0-3) and Kansas City Chiefs (2-1), the Chargers suffered several injuries to key players, which raises important questions. on the team’s trajectory as it prepares for a Week 4 game at Houston (0-2-1).

“It’s part of the NFL. It’s an attrition league and you have to be ready for that,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “What you have to do is weather the storm and stick together. Then make sure the guys come back as fast as possible.

The Chargers had a league-best eight players in ESPN’s 2022 NFL Rankings, which predicts the top 100 players for the season. However, five of them, plus Pro Bowl center Corey Linsley, are dealing with significant injury issues.

Here is an overview of the most worrying situations.

Strategist

It’s always a big concern when a franchise quarterback suffers an illness, and for third-year quarterback Justin Herbert and his fractured rib cartilage, there’s no recovery in sight.

“That injury is going to be there for a while,” Staley said after a 38-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday. “If you know the injury, it’s not like it’s going to be better next week or the week after. That thing is going to be there for a while. He felt good today. We’re going to keep going. handle it as best we can.”

Herbert, 24, avoided admitting any pain, saying only that he felt “good”.

But former NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who suffered the injury during his 17-year NFL career, gave some insight into how Herbert might really feel.

“I had this injury and it stinks,” Hasselbeck said Sunday in the NFL Countdown, adding there are multiple causes for concern. “Those little jabs, or the big jabs, or can he throw? But it’s not even that. It uses your cadence. You can’t even breathe when you have this wound…everything bothers you.

Playing through the injury, Herbert completed 25 of 45 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown, along with an interception and a lost fumble.

Perhaps most concerning for the young Pro Bowl quarterback’s recovery, however, is that he’ll be playing behind a cobblestone offensive line.

offensive line

The Chargers have recently invested in their line, prioritizing protecting Herbert over the past two years.

In 2021, they signed veteran center Corey Linsley to a five-year, $62.5 million deal. Next, they selected left tackle Rashawn Slater with the 13th overall pick.

Last April, they used the 17th overall pick to select right guard Zion Johnson.

The line played one game together, in a 24-19 win over the Raiders, before starting to crumble.

Linsley left the game in Week 2 with a knee problem and was inactive against the Jaguars, although Staley said on Monday the ninth-year pro was improving.

“He’s really improved over the last three or four days,” Staley said. “I really hope he is back in training this week.”

In a much more devastating blow, Slater tore his left bicep tendon against the Jaguars and will miss the rest of the season.

“It’s going to be a tough loss for us,” Staley said of the Pro Bowl tackle. “But we’re going to make sure over the next few days that we put some good contingencies in place, put together a group that can really play together.”

Will Clapp, a fifth-year professional who spent the past four seasons in New Orleans — where offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi served as quarterbacks coach during that time — replaced Linsley.

And at left tackle, Storm Norton took over when Slater left the game. Norton lost the starting job at right tackle to Trey Pipkins III during training camp.

Staley said it needed to be determined how they would explain Slater’s absence in the future.

“We’re going to look at that over the next two days,” Staley said, when asked how the jobs would be filled in the future. “That’s what we’re going to try to figure out, in the future don’t try to do too many moves where there’s going to be a lot of moving parts, where the guys could potentially do a lot of new things. We’re going to try to keep things as consistent as possible.”

The Bolts also have reserve linemen Jamaree Salyer and Brenden Jaimes.

Rush pass

Star passing thrower Joey Bosa will be sidelined indefinitely with a groin injury, taking home what was considered one of the best passing duos in the league.

With an offense that was poised to make a playoff in 2021, much of the focus in the offseason has been placed on defensive improvements.

The Bolts traded second- and sixth-round picks to the Chicago Bears to acquire passing thrower Khalil Mack to team up with Bosa, but — after a promising start to the season — it’s unclear when the duo will be on the roster again. ground together.

“It’s nature not to be day to day. It’ll probably be week to week,” Bosa’s Staley said, adding that he wasn’t sure if the Pro Bowl rusher would be placed on the disabled list.

Mack has four sacks this season, which ranks him second in the NFL. Bosa had 1.5.

The Chargers developed second-year pro Chris Rumph II, who is likely to play an increased number of snaps with Bosa out, and they also signed veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy in the offseason.

Van Noy has worked with inside linebackers throughout training camp, but is considered a depth player on the edge, if needed. He moved to the position after Bosa was sidelined.

Wide Receivers

The Bolts’ receptions leader since 2017, Keenan Allen has now missed two games, but Staley expressed optimism that the five-time Pro Bowler is closing in on a comeback since suffering a hamstring injury during week 1.

“I think you should see him back in training this week,” Staley said.

If Allen is able to return, it would certainly be a welcome sight for a rapidly thinning position group.

The Chargers kept only five receivers on their initial roster of 53 players.

They lost reserve receiver Jalen Guyton for the season, the fourth-year professional suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament late in the fourth quarter last Sunday.

The other healthy receivers: Mike Williams, a 1,000-yard receiver last season; Second-year pro Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter, who was signed in the offseason as a return specialist but provided an unexpected spark on offense.

Cornerbacks

The Chargers spent a bounty on cornerback JC Jackson in free agency, signing him to a five-year, $82.5 million deal.

However, his short time with the Bolts was somewhat of a mystery.

Jackson underwent surprise ankle surgery on August 23 after experiencing discomfort during practices.

He was inactive in week 1, came back in week 2 and played 100% of the snaps, then – despite taking a nine-day break, was inactive again in week 3.

Staley said there were no setbacks in Jackson’s recovery, but the fifth-year cornerback suffered from inflammation.

“Nothing structural. The injury is fine,” Staley said. “Making sure he doesn’t go there and something else happens. There was just some inflammation that we were looking at and being cautious, looking at the long term.

In Jackson’s absence, cornerback Michael Davis – starter for the past three seasons – has started.

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